If I’m not careful, I can get a wee bit down during the “holiday” season. Yes, I love the Gulf Coast winters; and yes I especially love winter birding. But December pre-holiday weeks can cause me to feel a bit misplaced.
I’m especially vulnerable if I’m staying in my stick house rather than in my RV. It’s far too easy to look out a stick-house window, see a sunless drab-gray sky (with 50 degree damp temperatures) and stay indoors. And staying indoors never chases away my blues.
And so today, late morning, I pushed myself outdoors (with 3 of my 5 layers) and drove to a wooded nature center. I realized I was in need of a binocular-only birding day, leaving the camera at home.
The result? A wonderfully birdy day, and a reminder that looking outward toward Mother Nature, instead of inward on my one life, is a reliable method for brushing off my blues.
The gloomy indoor day turned into a glorious outdoor day in the field. Overcast skies are perfect for wooded walks and binocular birding. The bird of the day? One of my favorite Winter Texans: the Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Since I was sans camera today, I wanted to share some YR Warbler photos that I shot last February (from Brazos Bend), and never posted. These photos are a bit special to me; I hope they will bring a little warmth and joy to you. I easily saw 500 of these beautiful warblers today:
The Yellow-rumps were everywhere. They flocked in large trees, moving in-and-about as if they were Goldfinch. They congregated on the ground, feeding in groups like Pipits. They moved in and around brush piles, pretending to be wrens. They even perched on barb-wire fencing, daring me to mistake them for sparrows.
And when these lovely warblers paused and filled my binocular view with their artful expressions, they brought me tidings of comfort and joy:
Today’s wooded walk gave me a bounty of other birds to sight. I stood quietly in this muddy spot, watching and listening to a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker, not thirty yards away:
Some of the other birds from my two-hour, wooded walk:
OC Warbler (many)
Hermit Thrush (4)
T Titmouse (many)
BG Gnatcatcher (many)
RC Kinglet (many)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (multiple)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (3)
C Wren (multiple)
E Phoebe (multiple)
Mockingbird (multiple, seems I woke one up from a nap—hilarious!)
W Pelican (Oh, to be in heavy woods and see these fly over!)
I hope these Yellow-rumped Warbler photos bring you a bit of the comfort and joy that I found, when watching these beauties today.